Poetry Plot – Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook

Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

Publisher: Holiday House, 2011
Material: Paperback
Genre: mystery, poetry, friendship, life lessons

The thief is a poet – or is it a poetry thief? First Slurpy, then a keychain … Ms. Herschel’s classroom is a thief magnet! Convinced that he will solve the crime first, Edgar Allen starts a notebook. H isn’t Wordsmith Elementary’s only junior detective. Solving the crime becomes a contest and testament to friendship, judging others, and jumping to conclusions!

Interest level: 7 to 12. Recommended Ages:

  • read together: 7 to 10
  • read yourself: 9 to 12

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud

Parent Reader: I loved this book!  We see the world largely through Edgar’s eyes, not just at school, but at home too. The word play, references to great poets, and “revisions” of their work makes this all the more unique. This is a fractured fairy tale, but poetry!

Bottom Line: The students in Ms. Herschel’s class are authentic and the story is fun. When you put it all together: mystery + humor + short chapters + rhyme – you have a story that is a great choice for all readers. The story is easily followed and would make a nice selection for mixed age audiences, too.

Our Recommendation: Buy. This is one of the few mysteries we’ve found where you’ll want to go back to the book even after you’ve solved the mystery. The poetry plot makes it fun to re-read the clever, original poetry that peppers the story.

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Educational Themes:

This is a poetry plot at its best! There are  plot weaves tons of poems and poetry concepts woven into the story. Whether you pull them out as you read along or go back and study them after the mystery is solved, you have a lot to work with to bring this book to life.

Notes:

1. The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book was given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

2. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through those links can result in earnings for the Reading Tub and its literacy mission.

 

 

FLIP – A project for Literacy First Responders

 

family literacy app

As you may have seen on Twitter the other day, the Reading Tub has launched a new initiative to bring literacy home to families.

It is called the Family Literacy Integration Project (FLIP) and it will transform (with the help of the incomparable Sheila Ruth!) The Reading Tub’s core functions into a Web App.

Cool, huh? Truth be told, our goal is a little bit bigger than creating something new and cool – we want to take access to family literacy tools to the next level!

When we started the Reading Tub 13 years ago, our website was the organization’s hub. As access to tools and content expanded, we diversified. The good news is that the variety of tools host lots of great content and ideas. The bad news is that is harder for our core constituents – whom we call Literacy First Responders – to find it.

The Family Literacy Integration Project (FLIP) will, in essence, create a Literacy Portal. Our in-depth book profiles will be more robust AND incorporate more literacy-related content.

If you’re interested, you can read the full proposal here. For those who want just the bottom line, keep reading …

Expected Outcomes

With a fully integrated Literacy Portal, the Reading Tub will better serve the needs of everyone involved in raising readers.

  • Families and caregivers benefit through improved search that “returns” both book-related content, literacy tips relevant to the age of their audience; and articles that explain literacy concepts in a way they can understand.
  • Educators and literacy specialists benefit with comprehensive access to content they don’t have time to search for all over the web: studies, analyses, and best practices articles; activities they can incorporate into their classroom or demonstrate to parents during parent-teacher meetings; and book recommendations (particularly read-alike lists and bilingual books that match the cultures of their students).

How Can I Help FLIP?

I’m so glad you asked! To make FLIP a reality, we need funding.

Thanks to sixdegrees.org and Crowdrise, we have our official fundraising campaign in place.

You can help by sharing this post on social, re-Tweeting our posts, and sending an email to the people in your life who are as passionate about literacy and reading as you are: family, friends, and newsletter subscriber list, to name a few.

Be sure to share this link with them so they can FLIP too!

https://www.crowdrise.com/thereadingtub

Poetry Book Review: A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky

A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky

jack prelutsky poetryillustrated by James Stevenson
Publisher:
Greenwillow Books, 2013
Material:
paperback
Genre: Nonfiction – poetry, humor

Circles, triangles, short stanzas and long; words you’re familiar with and some that are much too long (Fummawummalummazumms!).

More than 100 poems cover topics from food to pets to school and avoiding chores. There are all varieties of poems for young readers.

Interest level: 5 and Up. Recommended Ages

  • read together: 5 to 10;
  • read yourself: 9 and Up

Type of Reading: Family reading, independent reading, read aloud

Age of Child: Read with a 10-year-old girl.

Target Audience Reader: Our preteen is balking at reading, but still loves poetry. She likes being able to open the book to any page and decide what to read. The cool thing is that we get to hear all the poems that are hits because she’ll stop reading, come find us, and suggest we “listen to this.”

Parent Reader: We didn’t rely solely on our 10-year-old in reading A Pizza the Size of the Sun. We are huge Jack Prelutsky fans. His poetry speaks with a voice that resonates with but also echoes his target audience.

Bottom line: Humor and great imagery will have everyone laughing. This is an exceptional choice for developing and struggling readers, as the rhymes help with word decoding practice. The variety of topics help illustrate that poems can be fun and celebrate any topic.

Our recommendation: Buy. This is a great book to share with young elementary students, and it will be a “comfort read” for them later when they need a laugh or a warm memory. Click these links to find the book at your local library or favorite bookstore. [Note: Link goes to an earlier edition.]

 If You Liked This Book, you might also like:

Educational Themes: Celebrate poetry with this collection of 100 poems for young readers. The variety of topics help illustrate that poems can be fun and celebrate any topic.

Notes:

1. The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book was given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

2. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through those links can result in earnings for the Reading Tub and its literacy mission.